June 25th – The Presentation of the Augsburg Confession and The Brothers of John the Steadfast One Year Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession to the Holy Roman Emporer Charles  V in 1530. It was fitting for us to introduce the Brothers of John the Steadfast to Lutheranism on this date one year ago since our namesake was one of the signers of the Augsburg Confession and was a faithful layman who supported confessional Lutheran theology, risking his life and reputation for the pure Gospel and rightly administered sacraments.

The Brothers of John the Steadfast is laymen’s group (pastors and women are welcome to join and participate) formed to:

  • Learn and promote the Lutheran Confessions
  • Fund New Lutheran Media (Issues Etc.)
  • Uphold the historic liturgy
  • Support the work of the pastor
  • Equip spiritual heads of households

We have enjoyed a year of God’s blessing through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Included in our milestones in this 478th year since John the Steadfast stood resolutely on the truth and presented the Augsburg Confession are:

  1. Enlisting  250 members from around the world
  2. Starting 10 local  chapters from New York to California and even Canada.
  3. Cataloging and in some cases help start nearly 25 confessions reading groups around the country
  4. Publishing a first class, full color  quarterly of popular Lutheran theology and practice for our members
  5. Rolling out this website to help us accompish our goals and be a place where all confessional Christians (particularly LCMS Lutherans) can go to be edified and learn about the waxing and waning of Confessional Lutheranism in today’s world.

Our plans for our second year include:

  1. Electing a full board of directors (we have currently been operating with a small board and about 15 members on a steering committee)
  2. Our first annual fund drive to support new Lutheran media (Issues Etc.)
  3. Lay the financial groundwork for staffing to grow the organization
  4. Promotion of good liturgical piety via a groundbreaking video series
  5. Continued support of and growth in membership, chapters, confessions reading groups, this website and the Steadfast Quarterly

If you are interested in joining our growing group click here. Members pay $25 in annual dues and recieve the Steadfast Quarterly and a new member packet with a few steadfast goodies. If you are interested in starting a chapter contact us at [email protected] and we will send you a chapter start-up kit. (We just sent out five of them this week!)

We certainly have a lot of fine-tuning to do and some great goals for the coming year. We thank you for your support in this first year and look forward to God’s support in the new year so that we might remain steadfast in the faith and encourage others toward that same end.

We appreciate you giving us your feedback on our first year in the comment section below. Let us know what we have done well and what needs improvement.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


June 25th – The Presentation of the Augsburg Confession and The Brothers of John the Steadfast One Year Anniversary — 11 Comments

  1. And another thing Stefanski, if you would shell out the $25 to join our group your annual dues would help us with the small honorarium we give to Blazek so he could buy more ink. 🙂


  2. I would like to see more participation in the reading of the Confessions on the website. I know it’s difficult for those not used to blogging, but it is beneficial for those of us who do not have a Confessions reading group in our area.

    Also, there are several still undefined terms on the LutheranWiktionary !!! It’s a useful tool, and needs updating.

  3. Heartbroken — I posted these readings weekly several times, we get a few comments, then it goes for 2 or 3 weeks with my posting them without any comments and I drop off and don’t post them anymore. I’d be VERY happy to post them on this site if there would be discussion of the readings.

    FWIW: You can receive the daily readings by email or on your web-enabled phone (using twitter) at http://bocl.org/daily .. it’s not as nice as reading them in a discussion group where a pastor can help you understand passages, but it is better than not reading them at all.

    There is a weekly reading from the BoC tied to the readings of the day (if your church is using the 3-year series out of LSB) at http://lcmssermons.com/boc .. again, no discussions, and it doesn’t go through the entire BoC, but it is a good way to familiarize your congregation with what is in the Book of Concord. Get your pastor to get these inserts in your church bulletins as a first step to getting a Book of Concord reading group going in your congregation! You can sign up for a weekly email including the reading at the site above.

    There is a group on the Wittenberg Trail (WT) at http://wittenbergtrail.ning.com/group/studygroupthelutheranconfessions .. Kari Anderson posts one article from the AC each week, with readings from the Confutation and the Apology. Obviously it’s not going to read through the entire apology, but it’s a good way to familiarize yourself with what is in the BoC. Unfortunately the WT can be more confusing than a normal Blog, as you can reply to comments that have already been made .. how you keep track of new comments I have no clue, but it’s there.

    I’d be happy to resurrect my postings of the week here .. if we could get a commitment from a core of people to read through them AND add questions or comments. There are enough pastors reading here that any questions that come up are typically answered. What would be great is if one or two (or more!) pastors would commit to comment on the readings each week, to help lead discussions. Perhaps bring up topics that the readings talk about, or related points of items written on by Luther or others elsewhere.

    Thanks for the comments!


  4. Hey Norm,
    Thanks for the resources. I might check them out.
    I am still old-school and read the Confessions from my physical copy of BoC.

    Yes, having someone kick off the discussions would be a good idea. Mostly, when I read the Confessions, I do not find anything to discuss! I agree so completely with them that discussing them is like debating whether the sky is blue. 🙂

  5. Pastor Rossow, Norm Fisher, and all who have helped get BJS up and running,

    Thanks for a great organization and wonderful first year. I have been blessed by confessional studies at my local congregation’s chapter, articles on the BJS site and in the journal, and the BJS National Conference.

    Lord willing, I look forward to many more years of being a part of the Brothers of John the Steadfast.

  6. “Our plans for our second year include:

    2. Our first annual fund drive to support new Lutheran media (Issues Etc.)
    3. Lay the financial groundwork for staffing to grow the organization
    4. Promotion of good liturgical piety via a groundbreaking video series”

    I am not suggesting that they are not all worthy causes but
    three of your five plans involve money; two of five did last year. May I suggest that many of us have been sad to discover that even designated gifts to Synod do not get to the intended causes and we are going to be wary of anything/anybody not delivering full transparency.

    So before you plan paid staff, plan regular and complete financial reports. I commend to you the habits of Augustana Ministerium which collects dues for its expenses but is so frugal it has money left over to put in the donation pot which it keeps separately. (Stefanski’s $25 probably goes there.) 🙂

    We can, after all, send a check directly to Issues Etc. and nobody will collect an extra dime to cash it.
    “Staffing” does not “grow the organization” any more than it “grows” the church. BTW, some of us grew up in regions that “grow” corn or soybeans but let’s not think we “grow” organizations!
    [A little more of that language and we won’t be able to tell if we are reading BJS or Violet Vatican “memos”.]

    “Random thoughts from Texas” 😉

    P.S. I am saving all the glossy illustrated journals on one facet or another of liturgical worship to read again if I ever live to “retire”. (I won’t be able to afford all the subscriptions if I do.)

  7. Aha!
    I have just proved (again) that I do not read all the corners.
    My previous post is a redundancy.
    For others with similar questions, most of the information I asked for is under “THE ORGANIZATION”.
    Most of my suggestions were made early in the game, too.

    Fear not! I’ll think of some new ones. 🙂

  8. As a member of the Wittenberg Trail that has recently been shut down, I wondering if Kieschnick or the boys at the Seminary could have gotten to the moderator of the site as it, the site has been critical of our Presidents Theology and the practice thereof.

    Just Wondering.

    Christus Deo Gloria

    Deacon Brian Hughes

  9. Brian — to stop any rumors quickly, no, the manager of the WT shut it down. It had nothing to do with any negative comments.

    I am working on determining if there is a reason to resurrect the site as a wordpress blog; if you are on facebook, join the group “The Wittenberg Trail” and take part in the discussions there, or email me if you have other comments.

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